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Whitworth University is No. 3 in "U.S. News & World Report’s" Rankings of Best Regional Universities in the West

September 8, 2019
No. 1 in the West for Undergraduate Teaching
No. 1 in the West for Veterans

Whitworth University is proud to announce it has been ranked No. 3 among the West’s best regional universities by U.S. News & World Report.

The 2020 “Best Colleges” rankings were released today. The university has held a spot in the top 10 in this category for 19 of the past 20 years.

The university also celebrates the tremendous achievements of our faculty, as affirmed by the No. 1 ranking in the Best Undergraduate Teaching in the West category this year.

Among other U.S. News academic and specialty lists and rankings of regional universities in the West:

  • No. 1 - Best for Veterans
  • No. 4 - Best Value 
  • No. 10 - Most Innovative School 
  • A+ School for B students

The U.S. News “Best in the West” rankings are based on a formula that uses statistical measures of academic quality, such as graduation rates, social mobility, faculty information and admissions data. Only regionally accredited institutions with four-year undergraduate degree-seeking students are surveyed and listed among U.S. schools for the Best in the West category.

Whitworth’s incoming freshman class of nearly 700 students is the university’s second largest and most diverse freshman class – with 39 percent coming from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds and 37 percent first-generation students. Whitworth also welcomes the largest number of freshman international students (5 percent). The incoming freshman class also continues to be academically strong with an average GPA of 3.71 and average SAT of 1180.

Academic investments are reflected in Whitworth’s position among the top three schools in its U.S. News ranking category for student-faculty ratio (11-to-1), high percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students (61 percent), and low percentage of classes with more than 50 students (2 percent).

“Whitworth is ranked again among the best regional universities and best values in the West for the same reason that we are enrolling another record class this year; we provide students an excellent educational experience at an extraordinary value,” says Greg Orwig, vice president for admissions & financial aid. “What attracts students, even more than great rankings, is Whitworth’s warm and inclusive campus community, deep faculty-student relationships, and our mission to elevate academic excellence and faith-learning integration as complementary rather than competing values.”

To ensure students receive the best value for their educational investment, Whitworth has continued to build and upgrade facilities over the past decade, including the construction of the new $13 million Athletics Leadership Center. The $32 million Robinson Science Hall was completed in 2011, and the university will soon break ground on a new health sciences facility. The Office of Church Engagement is now housed in the new Beeksma Family Theology Center, which included a $2.8 million addition to the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel in 2018, and improvements are currently being made to Cowles Auditorium and the university’s aquatics center.

U.S. News has published its rankings annually since 1983. View all the 2020 rankings on the magazine's website on Sept. 9 at, or pick up the Best Colleges 2020 guidebook in stores on Oct. 15.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

2020 U.S. News Best Regional Universities - West

2020 Rank School
1 Trinity University (TX)
2 University of Portland (OR)
3 Whitworth University (WA)
4 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
5 Mills College (CA)
5 St. Mary's College of California
7 University of Dallas
8 St. Edward's University
9 California Lutheran University
10 Point Loma Nazarene University

2020 U.S. News & World Report - Best Undergraduate Teaching 
Regional Universities

2020 Rank Institution
1 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
1 Whitworth University
3 California Lutheran University
4 Abilene Christian University
5 Evergreen State College
5 Trinity University

2020 U.S. News & World Report - Best Colleges for Veterans 
Regional Universities - West

2020 Rank Institution
1 Whitworth University
2 California Polytechnic State University -- San Luis Obispo
3 St. Mary's College of California
4 St. Edward's University
5 California Lutheran University

2020 U.S. News & World Report - Best Value Schools 
Regional Universities

2020 Rank Institution
1 Trinity University
2 St. Mary's University of San Antonio
3 Mills College
4 Whitworth University
5 University of Dallas


Greg Orwig, vice president for admissions & financial aid, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or